5 Useful Car Restoration Tips

Thinking about restoring your car? Here are the top 5 things you should consider.

If you have an old car sitting around, you’ve probably thought about restoring it — especially if it has some cosmetic damage like dents and scratches. While many regular maintenance repairs aren’t costly, specialty repairs like paintless dent repair (PDR) for hail damage (if your car got dented from a hail storm) may be a different story.

You can check out this hail damage repair cost calculator to get an estimate of what it may cost to restore your car to its former glory. Additionally, below are a few useful tips to keep in mind if you’re planning to make a successful restoration:

Budget Accordingly

Probably the most critical part of car restoration is proper budgeting. The entire restoration process involves materials and steps that can add up to a hefty sum, and you can easily go over budget if you’re not careful. This is also still applicable even if you’re paying a professional auto shop to do the job.

Try to calculate the approximate price it would take to restore all the problem areas—whether it be dents, paint, or a malfunctioning engine. After getting at a ballpark figure, make sure to set aside enough money for materials, labor, and any extra parts that might be needed.

Carefully Inspect the Entire Vehicle

You can’t restore your car if you don’t know what needs to be fixed. Before starting, carefully inspect the entire vehicle for any damage and rust. Yes, every nook and cranny.

Make a note of any dents, scratches, or other imperfections, so you can handle them accordingly—no matter how small they are. It’s recommended you take photos so you can refer to them later on. And of course, don’t forget to check for internal broken parts like the engine, brakes, or lights.

Decide on the Level of Restoration

Not all restoration projects are created equal. Before getting started, you’ll need to decide on the level of restoration you want to do.

Do you just want to fix up the exterior and make it look brand new again? Do you want to go all out and restore every single section and component of the car? The level of restoration you choose will determine how much work and money you’ll need to put in.

Work With a Professional

It’s possible to restore a car on your own, but it isn’t always the best idea. If you’re not familiar with cars, you can easily cause more harm than good—especially if you don’t fully understand how all of the components work together.

For that reason, we recommend working alongside an experienced professional who can help guide you through the process. This is particularly true if you need specialty repair or if you’re working with a car with a unique make and model. Make sure you do your research and seek out an auto shop that can provide high-quality repair and restoration services.

Keep the Car Well-maintained

Once you’ve finished restoring your car, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor! To keep your vehicle looking and functioning well for a long time, make sure it’s regularly maintained. Take it in for an extensive inspection at least once every year— especially if it’s on the road regularly. This will help you identify any potential problems earlier.

If you sustain any damage such as dents from fender benders or hail, don’t lose hope — your fresh paint and body work aren’t ruined quite yet. Paintless dent repair is a repair method that gets rid of dings and dents without damaging the car’s factory finish.


Now that you know some basic tips on car restoration, it’s time to get started on your project! No matter the type of vehicle you’re planning to work on, follow these guidelines to achieve the best results possible. Going through the restoration process correctly the first time will help you enjoy that new-car feeling for years to come!

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